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{inspired by…}

So next week I think I may make a journey and I’m pretty stoked about it. I remember going to this place when I was younger girl, with my brand new camera, and being so excited about the castle ruins and springs and trees and flowers. Granted, this time of year much of that won’t be jumping up from the ground for me to photograph but it’ll be nice to be reminded that not everything is ugly in the throws of winter, you know?


{Ah, nature! Click the photo for some info kids…}


Looking over that picture, at all that nature and trees and water-y goodness, I was reminded of the following things that I’m loving lately. Be inspired with me, won’t you?


{Cattails Pendant by Alisha Louise Designs, $130}


{Tree Silhouette Leather Cuff, via HollyHawk, $25}


{New Growth Print, via groundwork, $20}


{Seasonal Spectrum by BJ Adams, textile artist, via wotartist}


{White Fox in Forest via MollyJey.  Shop her stuff here…}


That might be all for today kids but you never know. I’ve got lots of work begging to get done and I just might get an inkling to tackle it. Crazy, I know. Stick around friends, we might meet up later…perhaps to discuss a playlist for the excursion? I think so 🙂


[NOTE: We’re pretending together, as a sweet little group friends, that I was here yesterday. I’d give you the reason – sick grandpa being sent away from my parent’s house in an ambulance, the sick Bug (still), and of course, Valentine’s Day (which has officially been renamed Van Halen-tine’s Day around here) – but blog excuses annoy me :)]

I like the internets. A lot. Matter of fact, I always have. I remember that two of my friends were the offspring of pretty wealthy people and as such, had the internet when the rest of the world did not. And it was awesome. It’s always been to me an incredibly rad source of knowledge and general shit you didn’t know you needed to know (thank God for Wikipedia!). Once I got the internet at my own abode, it was always a refuge. Dick around for a second or two and it’s easy for things to snowball. For instance, just a bit ago I was over at the The Bedlam of Beefy and I stumbled upon this:

I balked at first over the credence that Uncle Beefy was giving to this video but seriously. It’s the most sincere and genuine thing one might find on the CrapBin that is YouTube (and yet, I still love it). Yes, it’s a sappy wedding video but damn, it is spectacular, is it not?! From the video I tracked down one Josh Goleman, apparently a cinematographer and photographer. He’s got a blog, so I went there, intrigued and honestly, blown away by the video that he did for Chap and Maura. Josh, in his spare time I suppose, likes to photograph bands and show me a picture of an interesting looking indie band, preferably including a member with a beard, and I’m on that shit. Weirdly, I’ve got the ability to look at a band and tell you right off if I’ll like their shit – call it my “This will absolutely NOT PAY THE BILLS but it’s sure cool” power, kind of like being a psychic. Anyway, Josh digs The Secret Life of Sofia (here’s their Myspace, for your listening enjoyment) so of course, I’m checking them out and lo and behold, they kind of rock my face off!

While over at Myspace I decide to use it for the only thing it’s good for (but really really good for) and that’s looking for new music. From the music page you can saunter on down towards the bottom and the’ve got every musician on Myspace listed by genre. I’m still pissed that I can’t pick one category and then sort of amend it to include a SUB-category (“SUB-category: Is it better to burn out than to fade away?”) so I could go all Folk/Rock/INDIE on Myspace’s ass but anyway. From there, I found From the Clay. Two things: a male somehow associated with this band says that he will “never shave my beard” and secondary, the first note of the first song I hear involves a banjo. Yeah, I’m good. BUT even better than that, I got here. Mmm, Seabear, how did I not know of your lovely strumming and folky violins and lilting vocals all the way from Iceland Seabearia?! Lord friends, listen to this:

{arms – from the album The Ghost That Carried Us Away :: buy}

{seashells – from the same album, naturally}


And now I’m spent. But I’ve saved some other ‘stumbled upon’ and other pertinent goodness for tomorrow friends :)…

Day five already, really?!  Is it obvious that I’m surprised at myself for actually putting the effort into finding something at least remotely interesting (wait, it is isn’t it?) to ramble on about for five days?  Well, it should be 🙂

The Shop opens in two days and I’m literally shitting myself, all while trying to convince my procrastinating hands that pushing it back just to accommodate my crafty whims is not acceptable.  Now that I’m back into sewing after a few month hiatus I’m running across all sorts of new things to try but I have to work hard at keeping my brain in line…

Opening on time, as promised, most likely means that I’ll spend the next couple nights with lots of music, coffee, and thread.  I must say, I’m happy with the things I’m making but much like last time, I feel like maybe the goods are too simple.  Not simple, necessarily, but…common?  I mean, I realize most people can’t (or just don’t think they can) sew so something that you know has been put together by a single person sitting in front of a Singer is pretty damn cool in and of itself BUT I feel like here I am, looking for MY voice again.  It’s not frustrating but it is hard.  I’m sure that before too long that thing that I find I love and that works for me will come along but waiting for it and feeling mediocre in the meantime is tough.  Most likely the next update will have to include some thread-drawing, just so I can feel singular in such a big crafty pool…

Anyway, progress from yesterday.  There wasn’t much, I’ll be honest, as The Bug was sick and required nearly non-stop attention.  Plus I was completely zapped from the night before, him being up and requesting new sippies and cars from the floor (that I could never find in the dark but GOD FORBID YOU TURN ON THAT LIGHT, MOM!) and breathing treatments.  Today, luckily though, we’re both rested and his cough is much better.  Already he’s taken his bike in a circular ride in the kitchen for a good hour, started to eat an orange and Pizza Rolls (I know, mother of the year!)  only to declare that they both make him sick and now he’s currently staring intently at the television (again, where’s my damn award?!).

Small amount of progress below and a snapshot of The Bug and his best friend…


{i love the rain clutch, from 100% cotton osnaburg and fabrics from Dewberry and Schmidt.  There will most definitely be a few more of these in The Shop on Friday…}


{The Bug & Andy…}


See you tomorrow friends…

Yesterday I worried about losing power and I rambled on and on about how in the event of such a disaster occurring it would be just fine around here because we were some of the luckier few that would still have heat and the ability to cook. Spoke to soon friends! While we didn’t lose power over the inches and inches of ice we got, the sleet falling off the roof of our house did manage to freeze over our electric meter outside and that resulted in the basic loss of pressure in our natural gas line. That meant that we still had a little hot water stored up in the heater but that turning on the stove gave me nothing but a headache from the stench of gas and standing over the old heater in our floor did nothing to warm my skinny bones. I got a hold of city utilities whose official response was “We don’t do service calls” – uh, what?! So I’ll admit, that poor women got a call back from my freezing ass after I phoned EVERY number in the phone book, looking for someone to brave the ice storm so they could come out and and fix this mess while charging me outrageous ignorant amounts of money for a job the city SHOULD do for free. Eventually the city took responsibility when they realized that the meter was the issue and a nice old man came over, proceeded to bullshit with my dad and The Bug for a couple hours, and eventually remedied the issue…but not after my body temperature had dropped to a dangerous 4.2 degrees. I shit you not my friends!

This morning I’m lucky enough, thanks to the weather, to get to skip out on an appointment that I scheduled WAY too early in the morning (seriously self, 9am?!) because everything in town is literally locked and boarded up. So that leaves the day for more sewing. I think instead of starting more bags or finishing the few I’ve got laying here I’ll work on finally putting my bags and bags of scraps of fabric to good use and make some book covers. I’ve been meaning to find some smaller projects that won’t take days to finish and don’t require me coming up with a pattern from start to finish because let’s face it, with my short attention span that shit is hard!

I’ve got no photos for the day (unless you’re interested in the pounds of ice hanging off everything I see) but I am sitting on some good stuff. Bullet list anyone?

  • Heather’s papercutting makes me want to die! Not in a bad way but her patience must be insane. She’s been all over blogland the past couple and for good reason. Check it
  • The Bureau of Communication makes me happy beyond belief…
  • City Wendy got a job! I’ve been reading her blog for a good year or two now and I’m a serious follower of Awesome! so I’m stoked she’s now working here
  • I’m keeping a serious eye on the D*Sponge Guest Blog for the next few days, all the while dreaming of living in the rainy (yet not icy!) city of Glasgow
  • Is it sad that I’m so eagerly awaiting the release of this book?  And this one?  And eagerly is really an understatement – I think when they both come out I’ll host a party (most likely attended by just three guests: me, myself, and I) even though I had shit to do with either of them…

That’s all for today folks (I think).  Stay tuned for tomorrow though, there should be some real progress to brag about if I’m to be stuck in the house all day with a toddler who should most certainly take a VERY LONG nap due to the fact that he was up all night coughing and asking for random toys that I couldn’t see in the dark…

Sweet mother of God, have you seen this weather?!  I know, I know, I’ve lived my entire life in nothing but midwest winters but lord, they never cease to depress or amaze me.  One would think I’d be used to 70 degrees on a Tuesday and 4 degrees on a Wednesday but seriously?  Yesterday was decent – cold as hell, but decent in that we could actually still bundle up and leave the house if need be – but today is just ridiculous.  Last year this time we were hit with a massive ice storm (not just snow people, ICE!) and for over a week The Bug and I were without power.  We were some of the luckier residents on the street because we live on natural gas (don’t get me started on how this is negatively effecting our enormous utility bills this winter) and that meant that we still had heat and hot water and a stove on which to cook.  This also meant that though we weren’t hoping the generator didn’t give out, we were providing half the damn town with regular showers and meals.

Anyway, today looks dreary.  The ice, within a mere half hour, has already piled up outside and just walking across the street to steal some sugar for my morning coffee proved almost too treacherous.  This also means that because this is such an old town and the wiring throughout is frayed and fragile, we’ll most likely lose power at some point…and that may last for who knows how long.  And candle living, my friends, is not my idea of a good time…

So I thought, in keeping up with my goal, I should pop in early (even before I’m awake really, mind you!) and get this done lest the lights start to flicker and things get dark.


{It’s even worse now, in the 20 minutes it took me to upload the damn photo and stick it here.  Midwest winters blow…}


And because I’m crafty and this here is my crafty blog, some baggy goodness…

{Good Days Bag.  More Purdy inspiration and some of those vintage hand sewn quilt squares.  For the shop opening, 2.15}


If there’s power tomorrow (and there will be as I’m currently willing it so via Jedi mind tricks) I’ll be back.  Enjoy your most likely ice free day my friends :)…

This time around, I’m trying to make sure that I reserve the weekends (but only the weekends, mind you) for things that aren’t work. I’m thinking maybe that’ll stave off the burnout because I’ve got days that I’m allowing myself to be okay about not working and because it might help to establish some sort of routine for me (even though I hate those!). I’m also trying to make sure that I put this down, the work and crafting and the general day to day-ness that is our lives, as cliche as that sounds.  I dig being able to go back and read about how I was feeling and what The Bug and I were doing. So even though today, being Sunday and all, is a play day I’m still here! With some good stuff too, friends…

It may sound weird but I literally cannot work if I don’t have something to listen to and typically, it’s harder for me to get into most songs that I’ve heard before. Believe me they’ve all had their fifteen minutes of Homegrown home fame and they’ve certainly served their purpose if they’ve helped me to get something done, but I prefer playlist of fresh, new tunes that get me excited, one that I can keep on for a good few days at least and still feel that silly urge to sing along. Inspiration, for me especially, is hard to come by for some reason but something good to groove on brings that creativity right up to the service. Lately, it’s really been about Andrew Bird. I’ve been slowly stumbling upon tracks from his latest record, Armchair Aprocrypha, and I’ve yet to meet one tune I dislike – if you’re into rock made with lilting whistles, violins, and just general badass-ness (I mean, how many dudes that sing about Scythians and hypothetical forms of matter actually come off as being completely rad?), you’ll dig it. There is of course Joe, as that’s been in constant rotation for a good 4 months now and I don’t see that changing anytime soon – it is seriously perfect folk, I swear to God. The Handsome Furs are I’ll admit, a set I didn’t think I could get into but lo and behold, I love it and it’s really good for those days when it’s raining or snowing and I’m just generally pissed off – makes you feel better somehow, I promise. And the New Buffalo is well, new around here. I stumbled upon this at this morning, of all places (hey, I only go there for the music!).

{dark matter – Andrew Bird from the album, Armchair Apocrypha :: buy}

{just can’t get it right today – Joe Purdy from the folktastic album, You Can Tell Georgia (sound familiar?) :: buy}

{what we had – the handsome furs, from the amazing album, Plague Park :: buy}

{cheer me up, thank you – new buffalo, from the album somewhere, anywhere :: buy}


There’s that and then there’s this. Some inspirational flikr-e-ness! I’ve been dreaming of swimming, the sun and it’s warmth, outdoor festivals, and traveling to destinations that are within are reach lately…

{All photos belong to their respective owners. Check the Flickr stream for the goods…}

I’m here!  Yesterday was full of fabric shopping with The Bug and sewing and I’m amazed that I actually got something accomplished.  I guess I’ve become accustomed to not finishing much because the logistics of that happening get all muddled when there’s a toddler dangling from at least one of my extremities.  But I was serious about getting something done (the shop opens in a week, after all!) so I put on a Joe Purdy playlist and settled in for some serious make out time with my Singer.  Here’s the progress so far…


{Tell Georgia Bag}


{The Works-In-Progress}


{Canyon Bag detail.  I love all the vintage seam binding there.  This bag is one of the few I’ve made that is completely vintage, down to the zipper.}


{Mmmm, vintage quilt squares!  They’re all hand sewn and they’re all in the most rad fabrics I’ve ever seen.}


{The aftermath, yet another reason it’s so frustrating to work sometimes.  Aside from the crazy toddler, there’s this: the mess.  We live in a tiny house…and I hate to clean so inevitably this piles up as I move along…}


I’m finding myself more and more stoked about the store and I really can’t wait to get this work done so I can start sketching again for new bags.  I’m finding that really all it takes is getting back into the swing of working to get excited again over something I thought I had drained all the excitement out of.  And what a nice, inspiring surprise that is…

Not to be too much of a piggy-backer but recently SouleMama devoted her blog to sort of detailing her life everyday for 30 days.  It was quite beautiful and inspiring over there, I must admit, what with all the pictures and anecdotes about life and I thought to myself, “Self, you must totally swipe that idea!”…

So here we are and today I’m starting ::30 days of the {homegrown} life::.  This is great for me for a couple reasons.  One, it means that I must actually do something everyday that is semi-interesting.  I mean yes, with The Bug is certainly interesting but detailing me chasing him around and picking up his trail of Cheez-Its probably isn’t going to entertain you, dear reader, for too very long.  Second, this means I must sew…and get used to my camera again.  One of the toughest things about running a store and putting your handmade goods out there for people to pick apart is making sure that your pictures make people want to look at them.

Speaking of sewing I’ve been doing some of that lately and currently I should be getting The Bug and myself ready for a shopping trip for oodles of more fabric.  Oh oh, on the topic of fabric, did you see this this morning?!  I’ll admit, Anna’s fabric collections in the past, while always absolutely gorgeous, weren’t really my style but the new stuff, especially the Shadow fabric, is so awesome.  I’ve got to wait until March, I think, to get some of it in my hands but you bet I’ll be first in line to pick up at the very least that print.

Anyway, I’ll pop in later for Day One of ::30 days of the {homegrown} life:: but I just wanted to stop in quickly and get it down here, you know, hold myself accountable.  See you soon 🙂

{i am sam. i make things.}

This is where I detail the goods I make as I'm making them, the music I'm listening to as I discover it, and the inspiration that I stumble upon when I'm in need of it.
email :: homegrownandthebug [at] gmail [dot] com